Lt. Daniel Neale-1; Christopher-2; Daniel-3; Presley-4; Anne-5
DANIEL NEALE-3 married URSULA PRESLEY, the daughter of PETER PRESLEY and ELIZABETH THOMPSON. [Colonial Families of the Southern States of America, pg. 395-399.]
The children of Daniel Neale-3 and Ursula Presley
Hannah Neale-4, mentioned first in her father’s will, may have been the oldest.
PRESLEY NEALE-4 was mentioned second in his father’s will and may have been the second-oldest child.
Daniel Neale-4, mentioned third in his father’s will.
Christopher Neale-4, of Prince George County, Maryland, died in July or August, 1756. He was prominent in the affairs of church and State. He owned a large estate in Prince George County, Maryland, and his wife was Anne Osborne, who divided her property, at her death in 1782, between her daughters, Mary Neale-5, Elizabeth Neale-5, and Hannah Neale-5 Brent, and named her son, Thomas Neale-5. Christopher-4 was mentioned fourth in the will of DANIEL-3.
Rodham Neale-4, mentioned fifth in his father’s will.
Frances Neale-4, mentioned last in her father’s will.
Estate of Daniel Neale-3
The will of DANIEL NEALE-3 of Cople Parish, Westmoreland County, Virginia, was probated March 2, 1713, and named daughters, Hannah Neale-4 and Frances Neale-4, and sons, PRESLEY NEALE-4, Daniel Neale-4, Christopher Neale-4, and Rodham Neale-4 Since we know that DANIEL-3 was born July 26, 1673, he was quite young at the time of his death, dying about age 40. DANIEL-3’s will, and very-detailed inventory of his estate, give us a clear picture of his household and equipment.
Homes in early Virginia, even those of the very wealthy, were not large by today’s standards. Even the richest men in Virginia may have only had a few rooms in their homes. One of the largest contained thirteen chambers. The kitchens were frequently built in separate buildings for safety and comfort. Rooms were multi-purpose with “trundle” beds often used to help furnish sleeping space for the family and guests. The “hall” was generally a dining room. DANIEL’s inventory mentioned the “Hall chamber,” the “parlor,” and the “Parlor chamber,” and the “kitchen.” Each of these four rooms contained bedding and bed-type furniture except the kitchen. The kitchen list had numerous tools listed, along with dishes and cooking items.
His home may have consisted of one building with two rooms below and one above, if it were typical, and may have been about 20 by 30 or 40 feet. Probably, but not necessarily, two- story. It was also probably built of wood with brick chimneys. The kitchen was most likely separate and contained a walk-in fireplace in which the cooking was done. The kitchen would have been one of the main rooms of the “house,” as most work was accomplished there. The home also contained a spinning wheel, and most of the women in the home would have been expert spinners, trained from childhood to prepare thread for weaving for the family’s every-day clothing.
Sheep were raised on the plantation to supply meat and wool for spinning. There were several teams of oxen which were the primary draft animals for planting crops, and several horses. The family also had hogs as well. There were no wagons mentioned in the inventory and only a broken cart and wheels. A horse collar, old and broken, was mentioned, and some saddles, so apparently the horses had been used to pull the cart at one time, but were by the time of DANIEL-3’s death, probably ridden for transportation if the family did not walk.
In a partial transcription in the author’s incomplete records is part of an article from the Virginia Genealogist, on CD, which is a petition from Westmoreland County, Virginia, petitioning for the establishment of a new town, with no date. The petition stated that the new place is conveniently situated for a town, lying in the River Yeocomoco, a deep and navigable river, and the only safe harbor for large vessels on the south side of Potomac River. It was signed by Richard Muse, Daniel Muse, James Muse, Thomas, Richard, Augustine, and Patrick Sanford, as well as Thomas Randal Sanford.
The Will of Daniel Neale-3
In the name of God Amen, I Daniel Neal of the county of Westmoreland and parish of Cople In Virginia Gentt: being sick in body but whole in mind and of full and perfect memory laud and praise be unto Allmighty God doe make and ordaine this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say first and foremost revoking all former wills and testamints by me made written or unwritten and this only to be taken deemed and esteemed to be my last will and testament in manner and form following first and principally I comend my soul unto the hands of the allmighty God my maker and redeemer and blessed Saviour Jesus Christ in sure and certain hope it shall be reunited to my body at the general day and glorified and my body to be decently buryed in the earth from whence it came at the descretion of my executrix hereafter named and for such worldy goods as it hath pleased God to bestow on me farr beyond my desert I will and dispose of in the manner and form following. First and formost my will is that all my just debts be duly paid by my executrix, Item I give and bequeath unto my daughter Hannah Neale one Negro girl called Molly to be delivered to her at the day of her marriage. Item I give and bequeath unto my son Presley Neale one Negro girle called Betty to be delivered to him at the age of twenty one years, Item I give and bequeath unto my son Daniel Neale one Negro woman called black hannah to be delivered to him at the age of twenty one years. Item I give and bequeath unto my son Christopher Neale one Negro girle called Nanny to be delivered to him when he attaine the age of twenty one years. Item my will and pleasure is that my two Negro men Jack and Dick remain and continue that is to say the use and benefitt of them to be wholy to my deare and loving wife Ursula and after her decease Negroe Dick to descend to my son Rodham and Jack to my son Christopher. Item I give and bequeath unto my daugher Frances Neale one Negro to be paid out of the increase of the before espresst Negro women if it should soe happen that any of them brings children and if it soe hapens that none of the said Negro women brings children that lives, then I give and bequeath to my said Daughter Frances three thousand pounds of tobacco to be paid her in the lieu thereof and the second living child born of the aforesaid Negro women I give and bequeath unto my son Rodham Neale Item I give and bequeath unto my son Presley Neale all my land on which I now live to him and his heirs forever, and all the reaminder part of my estate to be equally divided my loving wife and children all to have equal share thereof. Item it is my desire that all my children stay and remaine with their mother untill they be of age to be marryed unless they goe away by their mother’s consent. Item I appoint my deare and loving wife Ursula Neale to be my whole and sole ectrx of this my last will and testament In Witness thereof I have hereunto sett my hand and fixed my seale this nineteenth day of December anno DM one thousand seven hundred and thirteen.
Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of us Richard Bell [Mark] Elizabeth Colston [Mark] Thomas Thompson Daniel Neale [seal] [Transcription of will supplied by Erick Montgomery, Westmoreland Co., VA. Will book 5, page 244.]
“A true and perfect inventory of all and singular the estate of Dan’l Neale dec’d that hath been brought before us the subscribers have valued and appraised the same by venture…” [The inventory of the estate, Book 5, page 271, in Westmoreland County was posted on March 15, 1713.]
Inventory of Daniel Neale-3
Seven cows and 7 yearlings valued at 3,500 [pounds of tobacco?] 2 six year old stears at 1,100, two 3-year old stears at 550, five 2-yr old cattle, very small and poor 750, one 3 year old mare 500, 3 weathers at 100 “p’ eache” each =300, 1 ole crazey cart and wheels at 250, 10 cows at 450 p’each 4500, three 5-yr old stears at 450 p’each 1350, 5 five 2-year old cattle at 1,000; one gelding and one old mare at 1600, 9 ewes & 11 lambs at 1350, 20 small & bigg shoats at 600, 13 hoggs at 150 p’ each 1950
In the parlour chamber
1 feather bed bolsters ruggs 1100; sheets & valences & boalster all at; one broken chest noe lock to it 40; One old feather bed bolster 1 blanket 1 sheet a cheddar & bedstead at 450; 2 ole broken boxes leather & turkey work chairs old and some broken 180, 3 dozen coat buttons 24, 3 dozen gimp buttons 8, 1 hank of silk, 6, 2 yards dimity 20, 6 ole leather chairs at 45 p’each 270,
1 feather bed boalsters, rug bedstead, & Sheet 650, in a chest 15 ½ yards of drappery at 3 p 465; 4 ½ dz breast buttons at 27; 9 knotts of mohair 60, the chest 100;
In the Hall table linen
Damask napkins at 15 each 180; 9 damask napkins & some torn 54; ole press in the hall at 250; an old trunk 2 table flasks and drumline 50; ole leather chairs wooven 120; one old damask table cloth 60; an old jersey coat & ole drugget coat, vetst & breaches a pair of stokins a hat shoe buckles a razor & brush 300; an old table & couch 120; 9 old leather chairs and 45 beanches 450; an old gun and a looking glass 240
In the parlour
featherbed rugg blanket bolster and a truckle bedstead 500; ole chest with drawers and old looking glass 150; an old warming pan 65; a silver baker old & brusised 200; an ivory glister pipe 4; a mans saddle; 2 old broken bridles a breast plate and crupper at 150; 1 small feather bed bolster rugg and blanket a pair of sheets 2 pillos an old bed tick with a ____ of feather in it underneath the bed containers and vallens of bed stead 1100, 1 old chest 100; a parcell of old books 60; a parcel of gun powder an old box smoothing iron without heaters and 3 blass violls at 40.
In the Kitchen: Cracked earthern panns 32; then bottle 2 old small butter, 13 whole & 5 broken wooden bowls 52; an old cross cut saw & file 100; a bell matte skillet an old brass spice morter with spices and a pestle 120; a meal sifer and 2 sifters broke all to pieces and 6 wooden trenches 30;[page 273] an old spinning wheel and parcel of old lumber, rotten cask, broken chairs meal tray all to pieces and several other things of little value at 150; 1 ½ doz of old peweter plates 108; 1 old brass kettle 100; one old paile piggon 35; 38 of broken old peweter 152; an old brass chambers for his & her 1 old tanker without a lid and a wooden strainer and old iron candlestick 35; 1 old chest 80; 1 yard of course Holland white linen and 21 yards of muslin 70; 2 old meal bags torn and patched 10; 1 white serving lad about 1 year & 5 months to serve at 1200; a parcell of cotton & a small hand skinn 50; 2 iron wedges & one small old grind stone 47; an iron pestle & small parcell of carpenter tools 120; a spike & a ladle an iron skimmer two path hangers and 1 very small pitt 150; 3 iron pots weighing 129 at 387; 1 old iron pott with a hole in it & 2 old frying panns good for little 40; 2 large piggins old 294; 7 glass bottles 1 earthern chamber pot 26; 1 old fish gigg & a leather horse collar 50; 1 old shirt & neck cloath 6; 1 old broken side sadle & an old cradle & 2 pillops 100; 2 small cours table cloth & two napkins & old pichure & an earthern chamber old bridle bitt and old cloth brush 40
signed Gerrard Hutt, Tho Thompson Rich Dozier
An inventory of negores belonging to Mr. Daniel Neale decd
One negro man known by the name of Jack 7,000; One very small negro woman called Nanny 6,000; One negro girl called Malley very young 3,000; One negro woman called Hannah 7,000; one negro girl called Betty 6,000, One negro called Dick 7,000 Ursula Neale 3,600.
Most of the slaves in Virginia were not native born, but were imported from Africa or the West Indies. The number of slaves had increased very slowly from 1619 to 1700 in the colonies. Many, if not most, of the slaves first imported were young men. The few women who were imported from Africa were not prolific breeders, so the numbers of slaves grew fairly slowly for quite some time after the original importation of black slaves for life. Most slaves spoke little English, and lived and worked side by side with their masters on the primitive plantations. There were very few slave owners in Virginia at the time DANIEL died, and of those, only a few owned more than one or two black slaves or white servants. [Boles, Black Southerners.]
Why URSULA’s name and an amount of tobacco were listed in the inventory of the slaves is unknown. The inventory listed was identical to the list in DANIEL’s will. Relative value between “pounds Sterling” and pounds of tobacco is difficult to determine, but appraisements for slaves about this time, according to Economic History of Virginia in the Seventeenth Century, by Philip Alexander Bruce, mentions the value of a grown man about the turn of the century as about 25 to 30 pounds sterling. If 7,000 pounds of tobacco were valued at 25 pounds sterling, then 280 pounds of tobacco would equal one pound sterling. This would give the entire estate a value of 141 pounds sterling in slaves and 114 pounds sterling in personal moveable property, or a total value of 255 pounds Sterling in moveable property, plus the value of the lands. This, of course, did not make DANIEL a rich man, but put him in the upper-middle class, if such it could be termed. We know only what his assets were and do not know the extent of his debts that might offset some or all of the value of the estate.
The estate contained 39,600 pounds of tobacco value in Negro slaves, and that constituted the bulk of the value of the “personal property.” The white servant was valued at 1,200 pounds of tobacco. The livestock was worth 19,300 pounds of tobacco. The household items were worth 11,175 pounds of tobacco. This was a total of 71,275 pounds of tobacco, or a considerable estate. This very detailed inventory of the estate is also interesting to us since it gives us a complete picture of the items contained in the household and on his plantation. We can also see that DANIEL-3 apparently didn’t throw out anything just because it was broken. Times may have been tough and, obviously, he had not replaced much broken crockery or utensils. Tobacco was the only way for the colonists to obtain the equivalent in cash income, and the prices varied from year to year, such that the colonial planter was constantly cash-strapped.
DANIEL’s household equipment consisted of a few pewter plates, wooden bowls, and broken crockery and well used furniture. While he may have lived better than some of his neighbors, it appears that he and his family lived none-too-well, when judged by the dilapidated state of the items listed. Nevertheless, we may infer from his estate that DANIEL NEALE was probably among the more affluent of his neighbors.
The inventory mentioning several steers of ages three to five years old indicates that DANIEL’s plantation had several pairs of working oxen. Oxen were the primary farm draft animals until the late ninteenth century when mules replaced many of the oxen in use. An oxen was not a special breed of cattle, but simply a neutered bull of whatever breed the farmer kept. Many times it would be the offspring of his milch cows. These animals were trained to plow with the use of a wooden yoke placed on their necks. They were much slower and stronger than horses, easier to keep, and did not require grain to feed them. Beef was not commonly eaten during this time as it did not keep as well as pork, but animals were primarily raised for their hides and milk as well as for their ability as draft animals. DANIEL’s inventory of cattle was quite large for this time in history, listing 17 cows, 7 yearlings, 10 two-year old cattle, and at least 3 pairs of what were probably working steers, or oxen. Having this many cattle and especially this many pairs of working steers would indicate that he was attempting to till a reasonably large plantation.
A pair of steers can plow about one acre of ground per day. Having three pair of steers to work would give him the ability to plow up to three acres per day of labor. Obviously, with his own labor and that of his two adult male slaves, DANIEL’s ability to till land was much multiplied over some of his slaveless yeoman neighbors. However, with bumper crops of tobacco, and consumption not rising, the price for tobacco was down very low during the last few years of DANIEL’s life.
It is difficult today for us to imagine that our ancestors lived with such few possessions unless we stop to think that each item in the household was made by hand labor. In Colonial Williamsburg, there are historical reenactors who practice the crafts that our ancestors did, in just the same way, using the same tools. Watching a blacksmith make a rake, which took about an hour and a half, and then watching another man make the handle for the rake, which took him about half a day if you counted the cutting down of the tree, gives one an idea of the amount of labor that went into making a simple tool that we can purchase in a hardware store for a few dollars today. That ancient rake would represent the labor of many hours by a skilled craftsman and precious and expensive metal.
Governor Spotswood wrote in 1711 that “the great number of negroes imported here and solely employed in making tobacco hath produced for some years past an increase in tobacco far disproportionate to the consumption of it… and consequently lowered the price of it.”
By the early Eighteenth century, some of the planters were losing money.
After the death of DANIEL-3 in 1713, URSULA PRESLEY NEALE married Wharton Ransdall [Ransdell]. Her relationships were proven beyond a doubt by the will and estate of her brother, Peter, in 1718. She was deceased prior to 1755 when her second husband, Wharton Ransdall, wrote his will and mentioned his [then] current wife, Sarah.
Most widows and widowers of the “middle” classes remarried after the deaths of their spouses as a matter of economic and social necessity. If there were children to raise, slaves to oversee, and a plantation to run, women were at a disadvantage unless they had older sons that could take over the place of the deceased husband. Widows could and did conduct business and oversee plantations, but this was not the rule. Men could have a slave woman run the “home,” but without a mistress to oversee the household management, the home did not run as smoothly. Children, especially female children, needed a mother-figure to oversee their upbringing and social education. Black slaves were not considered suitable for this task.
Wharton Ransdell’s will, in Westmoreland County Virginia Book 13, page 143, starts off in the “standard form” and mentions his son, Edward Randell “the lands on which I now live,” his Mulatto girl, Susanna Wood, and Negro girl, baptized by the name of Mary, also his silver “wach” and silver-hilted sword, as well as his “still and worm,” and all “tyte casks.” Land bought of Willoughby Newton, on Beaver dam run of _?_ River, in Stafford County, part of which he had given his daughter, Sarah Elliott Pierce. Then he mentions son, Wharton Randell-2, to have a Negro named George, and his clothes of every kind. Son, William-ii received lands in Prince William County and a Negro girl named Pegg, and his “molatto boy,” Robert Wood. He next mentions Sarah Elliott Pierce, his daughter, to have money to buy a mourning ring, as she had already received her portion. He mentioned his wife, Sarah Randell, having chairs and a couple of horses. The rest of the estate was to be divided between his wife, Sarah, and his three sons, Edward-ii, Wharton-ii, and William-ii. His will was probated April 25, 1758.